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Shining A Light in the Brain: Optogenetics as a “guiding light” for deep brain stimulation

by Trevor Haynes In the late 18th century a particularly resourceful experimenter, Giovanni Aldini, saw scientific opportunity in the increasingly prevalent public executions being performed across Europe at the time. Using the corpse of a recently deceased prisoner, Aldini electrically stimulated the prisoner’s exposed brain causing his eyes to open and his face to contort and twitch, thus putting his uncle’s theory of bioelectricity to … Continue reading Shining A Light in the Brain: Optogenetics as a “guiding light” for deep brain stimulation

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Oak Wood Cross Section

Cross section of oak wood, showing every reason that made an oak tall and strong. The large pores are vessels that are responsible for transporting (more accurately, pumping/pushing) water from the root system to the tip of the tree. The densely packed purple dots are stained lignin in the cells walls. During early wood development, once lignin is deposited in the cell wall, these cells … Continue reading Oak Wood Cross Section

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Why Scientists Need to be Better Communicators

by Marina Watanabe I once attended a lecture by a famed physicist, and left convinced that physics was the biggest sham in the universe (or multiverse, if you believe him). At one point, the professor answered an audience member’s question by “clarifying” that if you were on the inside (of what?!) looking out (to where?!), time was time. However, if you were on the outside … Continue reading Why Scientists Need to be Better Communicators

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The Cancer Treatment Playbook: Why we still don’t have a cure

Will we be the first generation that cures cancer? The answer is complicated. Curing cancer remains a steep task despite the hopeful rhetoric and heavy investment put forward by new initiatives like the Cancer Moonshot. Treating cancer is not possible with a ‘one size fits all’ approach as each tumor requires a precise strategy to be defeated. These game plans must combat key offensive plays … Continue reading The Cancer Treatment Playbook: Why we still don’t have a cure

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Mixed Emotions on the March for Science and the Consequences of Getting it Wrong

by Dana Boebinger figures by Tito Adhikary I’ve had many conversations over the past several weeks – with scientists and non-scientists alike – about the possible outcomes of this weekend’s March for Science. Some people are excited about this opportunity to make a strong show of support for scientific research and evidence-based policymaking. Others don’t think a march is necessary. But in the days leading … Continue reading Mixed Emotions on the March for Science and the Consequences of Getting it Wrong

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The Befuddling Brain: Neurogenetics and the mysteries of autism

We’ve all heard of autism, and most of us know someone who is autistic. However, the cause of autism has eluded doctors and scientists, and there are as of yet no definitive treatments. In this lecture, we will talk about neurogenetics – the science of using the tools of genetics to understand the brain – and look at what this emerging field can teach us … Continue reading The Befuddling Brain: Neurogenetics and the mysteries of autism

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How Science and Genetics are Reshaping the Race Debate of the 21st Century

by Vivian Chou figures by Daniel Utter Donald Trump’s election as the 45th President of the United States has been marked by the brewing storms of racial conflicts. A rise in racial incidents ensued in the immediate aftermath of Trump’s victory in November 2016. Since the beginning of 2017, over 100 bomb threats have been made against Jewish community centers and schools. Trump’s travel ban, signed in … Continue reading How Science and Genetics are Reshaping the Race Debate of the 21st Century